Tera Patrick walks into Smashbox Studios in Culver City a few minutes late. Los Angeles-area traffic can slow down even one of the world's most recognizable and powerful porn stars. She carries a Hello Kitty lunch bag and has two of her dogs, Chopper and Mr. Big Stuff, tag along as she heads for the makeup room. She arranges her bags and settles into a chair, and her husband and full-time manager, Evan Seinfeld, pulls into the studio on his motorcycle a short time later.
The couple doesn't even get a chance to say hello to each other before settling into the tasks at hand: He looks over camera and lighting equipment and takes another look at the description of the photos needed from the day's shoot, while she has her hair and makeup done by Ricardo Ferrise and looks over the costumes she will wear throughout the day. Despite the fact they are in separate rooms and dealing with separate issues, it's clear they have a connection and energy that allows them to accomplish more than the average couple.
"Sometimes, I really think I am the luckiest person in the world," Patrick said as she stood to the side of the set, waiting for Seinfeld to finish prepping for the first shoot. Though she's won several AVN Adult Movie Awards, graced the covers of mainstream magazines such as FHM and holds the distinction of starring in the fastest-selling Hustler video ever, InTERActive, her tone makes it clear she is talking about Seinfeld.
"I really had achieved a lot of my dreams, but it really is hard to be a girl in the adult industry," she said. "So when I met Evan, it felt like I hit the lottery. We really work well together. If he's the photographer, I'm the model. He's the husband, and I'm the wife. We live together, work together and play together. I don't think I could have ever imagined being so lucky as to have found my soul mate.
"We knew from the beginning that people were against us. They thought he was all wrong for me, that he would ruin my career. But, in reality, he really took me out of the worst possible situation."
Patrick said she has always been thankful for her fans. After all, they helped her get where she is. But her meteoric rise in the adult industry wasn't always easy. "Unfortunately, there is a bad side to this industry that has hardened a lot of people," she said. "It can all suck you dry - not just the industry, but life in general. I've worked really hard to try and keep myself centered, and I've been lucky. I have very supportive friends and family who take care of me, and I am grateful for my fans. I think I've been lucky to have come this far pretty unscathed, but I can't say I have no regrets. If I had it to do over again, there are things I would have done differently. I would have come into this industry a little more informed."
But the upside, Patrick said, is that the adult industry and its fans are a little more understanding than the mainstream world, where the press can be cruel. Press and fans in the adult industry, she said, understand that most performers are still people. "And I do like the attention," she said with a sly smile. "Who wouldn't love being fawned over?"
The most attentive person is Seinfeld, who makes physical contact with his wife throughout the shoot and consistently checks on her well-being. It's indicative of how well they work together in business and life.
In the four years Patrick and Seinfeld have been married, they have become a true dynamic duo, not only in the adult industry, but also in the mainstream entertainment world. Patrick's photo shoot was for a line of T-shirts for PJE, and it had her portray everyone from President Tera to Wonder Woman to a futuristic Barbarella. She co-hosted the 25th annual AVN Adult Movie Awards in January. She has launched TeraPatrick.com through GammaCash after years of ClubTera.com. There are 80-year-old grandmothers who know who Tera Patrick is.
As for Seinfeld, in addition to co-starring in several of his wife's movies, he tours with his band, The Spyderz. He has directed several films featuring his wife. He appeared on the VH1 reality show "SuperGroup" and starred as Jaz Hoyt for five seasons of the hit HBO drama "Oz." And he spends every free minute he has from photographing his wife to talking on the phone to take care of other business interests.
"I take care of and handle all the stressful shit so Tera doesn't have to," he explained. "I don't think we're the type of people to do nothing. We love the business, we love to work, and we love being in love. It doesn't get any better than that."
There isn't much downtime for Patrick and Seinfeld. If they aren't at photo or movie shoots, they are making guests appearances on TV and radio, working on new content for TeraPatrick.com, updating their MySpace pages, overseeing their fan clubs or working out details for Tera Patrick's Pool Party or her new fitness video. They are almost constantly on the go between work, travel and home, where several personal assistants live with them.
But the hard work now, Seinfeld said, will pay off in the long run.
"Even though we don't plan on shooting movies forever, we are still making decisions about what to do for the future," he said. "I don't think one thing will ever be enough for either of us. We've both achieved so much more in our lives than we ever thought we could, but there's so much more."
Patrick said her dream job at this point would be a guest appearance on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," starring Larry David.
"I just love his sense of humor," she said. "I can picture how the episode would be, too. I would be the porn star who moves into Larry's neighborhood, and he peeks over the fence to see me sunbathing nude or in the pool with a bunch of porn stars. I would say, ‘Hi, Larry! I'm Tera Patrick, your new neighbor!' I can just see him stumbling when he tries to tell Cheryl, ‘But I didn't see anything!'"
There's no denying that Patrick and Seinfeld enjoy the wealth and status their livelihoods afford them. When they do have free time, they often spend it together.
"She likes to travel to exotic places," Seinfeld said. "Sometimes, when we have a free day, she will say, ‘Let's fly to Japan and visit the Hello Kitty theme park.'"
However, there are times when they break from each other. When Seinfeld takes an annual motorcycle trip with his brother, Patrick will visit his parents in Florida, taking in museums and shows and even shopping at 99-cent stores.
On occasion, they have run interference on their own behalves.
"Sometimes, we tell people we are in New York when we are in Los Angeles, and vice versa," Seinfeld said. "There are times we just need to be alone, home, together. One of my hobbies is working with the guys from Gambino Customs to renovate a '49 Cadillac. Or we like to take the dogs to the beach.
"A few weeks ago, Tera wasn't feeling well, so we blocked everyone and everything out. We ordered food in, got rid of everybody and just stayed in bed watching DVDs."
It was a rare quiet time, they said, but they treasured it.
It's easy to see the love and adoration in their eyes when they look at each other. And then it's time to get back to work.
-Sherri L. Shaulis
This article originally appeared in the May 2008 issue of AVN Online. To subscribe to AVN Online, visit AVNMediaNetwork.com/subscriptions .